Guest Post: How Hollywood (Almost) Ruined My Love Life

August 9, 2011 Guest Posts 1

Today I have the pleasure of having Bonnie Trachtenberg guest post on the blog as part of her Book Tour for Wedlocked. Her book is awesome, you can read my review here, and I know you’ll enjoy her writing!

Bonnie Trachtenberg worked as Senior Writer and Copy Chief at Book-of-the-Month Club and has written seven children’s book adaptations. She’s also written for three newspapers, and has penned countless magazine articles. Wedlocked is her first novel. She lives on Long Island with her husband, stepchildren, and cats.
Visit her website:
http://www.bonnietrachtenberg.com/
Check out the Wedlocked website:
 http://www.wedlockedthenovel.com/
Follow Bonnie on Twitter:
 http://twitter.com/#!/WritebrainedNY
Hello. My name is Bonnie and I’m a dreamaholic. It’s not an easy thing to admit, especially when you’ve lived in a dreamland most of your life. In examining my childhood influences, I found nothing to suggest why I chose a life of fantasy. Nothing, that is, except six heavy electronic boxes, strategically placed around my home. The boxes magically brought to life fantasies and dreams beyond anything my imagination could have managed on its own, and they did it on a daily basis. You see, I’m one of the first generation to grow up under the influence—The Hollywood Influence.
I remember my love affair with fantasy catching fire when I was a quiet, impressionable child of about six. There I was, blotchy and feverish and streaked with calamine lotion when my mother appeared with some toast and with a flick of a switch, brought me Bewitched. That was the first time I became acquainted with the beautiful witch from the suburbs who could conjure up her heart’s content with twitchy finesse. This wasn’t entertainment; it was the ideal life, something that if I longed for fervently enough, and could suspend my disbelief long enough, might just be possible. Samantha wasn’t an apparition. She was an aspiration.
Getting older didn’t help. I continued to expect life to mimic those romantic ideals I celebrated. My first love met me every Friday night like clockwork, and even serenaded me, but joining the David Cassidy Fan Club presented my first ugly brush with reality. To them, I was just another fan they thought they could placate with a poster. My tastes became more “refined” right about the time I found the next Cassidy. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid brought to life by Paul Newman and Robert Redford—the real dynamic duo—were almost too much for my heart to bear. How could I possibly choose between two perfect specimens in the same fantasy? I didn’t. I became a two-timer and  these characters became the models for what I looked for in a relationship.
As I began dating, I wasn’t aware that my men were chosen for their bigger-than-life qualities. It never dawned on me that I chased after hard-to-get guys because they reminded me of the images I could never quite grasp off the screen. Therefore, the people I picked, an undercover FBI agent, an elusive millionaire, and even a Hollywood movie producer, didn’t make especially good partners.
By the time I was into my 30s, part of me was saying, “Find someone real and accept his faults,” but the dreamaholic was screaming, “Don’t give up! Mr. Perfect is out there waiting for you.”  But finally, at 40, I met the man who would convince me it was okay to face reality. He was a good friend who understood and appreciated the real me, someone only good friends—and not potential mates—ever got a chance to see. We fell in love and it was more wonderful than anything I’d experienced before.

Now I’m able to accept the fact that I’ll never capture the perfection I longed for because it only exists in the imagination of writers like me. But that’s okay, because accepting the faults of a mortal man let me be much more human. Now, I can focus on the good things I have, instead of the unattainable things I don’t—and what I have is all the more special because it’s real.

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